The early years of alkyne metathesis were marked by a somewhat ironic state of affairs: the proposed mechanism was swiftly validated and more than one effective catalyst became available shortly after the discovery of this transformation; surprisingly, however, the impact on synthesis remained very limited for a long period of time. Recent advances, however, suggest that this situation is about to change: the remarkable activity, functional-group tolerance, and reliability of the latest generation of catalysts open the door for highly advanced applications. The resulting (cyclo)alkynes are amenable to numerous postmetathetic transformations, which diversify the product portfolio and bring many different structural motifs into reach. Since the catalysts have also evolved from the glovebox to the benchtop, there should be little barrier left for a wider use of this reaction in organic synthesis.
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